Matthew Hoggard: 9 must-know facts about the former England fast bowler

Born December 31, 1976, Matthew Hoggard was one of England’s mainstays in 2000s. He was a part of the side that lifted the Ashes in 2005 and would go on to be an integral part of the English bowling attack for nearly a decade. He partnered the likes of Steven Harmison, Simon Jones to name a few. Hoggard was yet another Yorkshire player, who went on to be successful for England, but his career was cut short after a row with the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Pramod Ananth lists some of the interesting facts about the fast bowler.

1. Prolific season: The 2000 season was Hoggard’s best in cricket. He picked up 50 First-Class wickets, which included two on his Test debut against West Indies. He picked up 18 wickets that season before he made his Test debut and went on to pick up a further 30 after that. The good show earned him a permanent place in the England side.

2. Hat-trick: Hoggard picked up the 34th hat-trick in Tests in his third match against West Indies at Bridgetown. The victims included Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ryan Hinds. West Indies won the match by eight wickets and as a result won a series in the Caribbean for the first time since the 1967-68 season

3. Ashes: Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke while announcing retirement said that the Ashes are the World Cups in Tests for both sides. Hoggard was part of the England side that lost the 2002-03 series, but picked up 16 wickets in 2005 Ashes series, which England won to regain the Urn. Overall, Hoggard has picked up 35 wickets in the Ashes at 38.11 with best bowling figures of 7 for 109.

4. Matthew “Oogie” Hoggard: Hoggard was nicknamed Oogie based on the character Oogie Boogie from the movie ‘The Night before Christmas’.

5. Depression: Like many international cricketers, Hoggard went through a phase where he doubted his abilities as a cricketer and went into depression. In his autobiography, “Hoggy: Welcome to my world” he talks about how he went into depression during the New Zealand tour of 2008 he went into depression after the birth of their first son. He says that he was close to tears on the field during that particular tour.

6. Batting career: There isn’t much to talk about Hoggard’s batting but he did manage to get a couple of vital thirties batting low down the order. He scored 32 against India batting at No. 10 and added 103 for the ninth wicket with Craig White. Two years later he scored 38 against West Indies at No. 9, to take England to 470. England eventually won the match by 10 wickets. He however had four First-Class fifties.

7. Fatherhood: Hoggard and his wife Sarah became proud parents in 2007 when their son Ernie was born.

8. Retirement: After 17 years of professional cricket, Hoggard decided to retire from all forms of cricket in 2013. Hoggard finished with 786 First-Class wickets, 205 List A wickets and 51 T20 wickets in his career.

9. The funny side: Hoggard’s co-pacer Simon Jones hailed from Wales which is famous for its sheep population. Hoggard used to phone Jones and leave messages on the answering machine of him bleating like a sheep. Jones once said, “One was two minutes long! And I sat and wasted my time listening to it!” Read more: Matthew Hoggard was not sheepish one bit!

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)